Possessor Uncut

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Possessor Uncut Movie Poster Image
Extremely graphic, bloody, violent sci-fi/horror story.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie deals with a very complex, abstract portrait of identity. What happens when we have the option of taking over others' identities? Does our own identity remain its own unique thing, or is it flexible? Is it morally right to take over someone else's identity? And is it morally right to work as an assassin?

Positive Role Models & Representations

Even though this is a woman-led story, none of the female characters can really be considered role models. They're killers and criminals, and the main character's psyche comes unraveled as viewers watch. In one scene, a Black woman who's trying to kill herself points her gun at police; without hesitating even a second, they shoot her dead.

Violence

Extreme violence with tons of blood. A woman shoots and stabs a man repeatedly, with massive blood spatter. Eyeballs are pried out. Guns and shooting, sometimes fatally, and sometimes involving children. Cops shoot a woman dead. Bloody bullet wounds. Stabbings. Giant photos of bloody victims. Brain splatter. Chopping off own fingers. Beating with fireplace poker. Breaking teeth. Vomiting blood. Creepy/scary stuff. Unsettling/disturbing strobe-light effects.

Sex

Graphic sex scenes include images of an erect penis and a naked woman on a bed with her legs spread. One character performs oral sex on another. Women shown topless. Side view of a man thrusting on top of a woman, his naked buttocks shown. Woman grinds on top of man. More thrusting/sex. Kissing. A woman occupying a man's body touches the body's penis. Strong sex-related dialogue.

Language

Uses of "f--k," "p---y," "c--k," "bitch," "jerk off."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters vape, snort cocaine, have wine with dinner, and drink socially (whiskey). A smoking pipe is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Possessor Uncut is an intense, edgy, extremely graphic sci-fi/horror movie about a woman (Andrea Riseborough) who occupies other people's bodies to perform assassinations. The unrated uncut version (which is the one reviewed here; an R-rated cut is also available) has tons of bloody, brutal violence, including killings, stabbings, beating, gore/platter, eyeballs being pried out, fingers getting chopped off, blood vomiting, and generally creepy/scary stuff. Police shoot a Black woman fatally, and a child is shot. There's also graphic sexual content, including images of an erect penis, topless women, full-frontal male nudity, thrusting, grinding, simulated oral sex, and more. Language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," and "bitch." The main character "vapes" more than once, and characters snort cocaine and drink socially. A smoking pipe is shown. Some scenes include a disorienting, flashing strobe-light effect that could be difficult for those with photosensitivity.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySam M. October 17, 2020

Seriously Fcuked

The way people are savagely butchered puts every mainstream horror movie to shame. A kid is shot and his skull and brains burst everywhere after his dad is slau... Continue reading
Adult Written byrehaddock October 16, 2020

Cronenberg Craziness

What started out as a pretty interesting idea turned into a voyeuristic nightmare of images that one does not need to have introduced into your subconscious. We... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byyrivera343 October 2, 2020

BIG TV-MA

LOTS OF SEX LOTS OF BLOODY STRONG VIOLENCE STRONG SWEARING

What's the story?

In POSSESSOR UNCUT, a woman named Holly (Gabrielle Graham) walks through a hotel restaurant, shoots a man, and stabs him until she's spattered with blood. She then tries to shoot herself in the head and hesitates, but when the police arrive, they do the job for her. Suddenly, Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) jolts awake, strapped inside a strange machine. She's an assassin who has been operating Holly's body, and her mission is now complete. Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh) talks the shaken Tasya back to reality. After a visit with her estranged husband and son, Tasya decides to get back to work, taking on a new challenge. Inside the body of former drug dealer Colin (Christopher Abbott), she has three days to kill Colin's girlfriend (Tuppence Middleton) and her evil CEO father (Sean Bean). But with Tasya's psyche slowly coming unraveled, can she complete the task?

Is it any good?

Directed by Brandon Cronenberg, son of the legendary David, this graphic sci-fi/horror story doesn't have anything terribly unique to say, but it's certainly told in a powerfully disturbing way. Disappointingly, Possessor Uncut really doesn't go very far into exactly how its body-possessing technique actually works, and it doesn't seem very practical; it requires painful, bloody holes drilled in heads and constant adjusting to keep everything in sync. Likewise, the ultimate goal of murdering the CEO and his daughter is largely pointless compared to Tasya's bizarre, soul-threatening journey.

The younger Cronenberg sets a challenge for himself to find ways to visualize Tasya's inner torment. A powerful and timely opening sequence gets things off with a gut-punch. Possessor Uncut also uses unexpected colors and patterns throughout, disturbing make-up effects (melting flesh, etc.), and, every so often, a disorienting, flashing strobe-light effect (sensitive viewers probably shouldn't watch this). Riseborough really commits to her deeply physical, punishing performance; she's in so deep that it's possible to feel her presence even when you're watching Abbot. Veteran actor Leigh (who was also in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ) matches Riseborough, providing a bit of sinister backstory for the assassin business with nothing more than the tone of her voice.

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Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi and horror

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